How it begins:
The Buddha Speaks The Sutra On Cause And Effect In The Three Periods Of Time
Translated by the Buddhist Text Translation Society
At that time, Ananda was on Magic Mountain, together with twelve hundred fifty in the assembly. Ananda made obeisance with his palms together, circumambulated the Buddha three times, and knelt with his palms joined. Then he asked Shakyamuni Buddha this question: "During the Dharma-Ending Age, all the living beings in Southern Jambudvipa will give rise to much unwholesome karma. They will not revere the Triple Jewel, or respect their parents. They will be lacking in the Three Bonds. The Five Constants that safeguard the universal obligations between people will be in disharmony and disarray. Beings will be poor, destitute, lowly, and vile. Their six faculties will suffer impairment. All day long they will engage in killing and harming. Moreover, they will not be of equal status; some will be wealthy while others will be poor. What are the conditions leading to these various different rewards and retributions? We disciples pray that the World Honored One will compassionately explain each one of these for us."